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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Matthew David Pearson on Jan 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Matthew Pearsonmpearso4@depaul.edu200 McGawOf
ce Hours:M/W 9-30-11am andhappily by appointment
Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse 205: Special Topics—The Historyof Literacy examines, well, the history of literacy. De
ning“Literacy” is ostensibly an easy task, having something to do withreading and writing. But, as we will explore this quarter, theconcept of literacy has been in debate since systems of alphabetswere
rst developed 5000 years ago. Researchers, educators, andpolicy makers have debated the de
nition of literacy, its value, itsconsequences, and social and educational policies directed atattaining it. In this course, we’ll read selected landmark scholarlyarticles on the history of literacy.As we read these works, we will ask such questions as:What is literacy?Is literacy the same everywhere?How is literacy different from orality?Does the introduction of literacy in a culture necessarilyhave certain effects or cause certain changes?How is literacy related to schooling?Does literacy change as technologies and new media forcommunication emerge? If so, how?
Course Requirements
This is a reading- and writing-intensive course. We’ll be readingabout 20 to 40 pages for each class meeting. You’ll also bewriting a lot—both outsideof class and in class. Nearly all ourwork this quarter will focus on understanding the texts we read for
the course. That said, you will have the opportunity to explore atopic related to course themes on your own and present your
ndings to the class.
Required Texts
Course readings, available on writingandlearning.org.
Assignment and Grading Overview
You will receive detailed assignment sheets for all of the requiredaspects of this course. I will hand them out in class and post themto Blackboard as well. In addition to an assignment sheet, I willmodel certain requirements for you in class (e.g., the speci
c formatfor leading class discussion we’ll use). I will also give you allpossible midterm and
nal exam questions well in advance of theexams.My expectations for your work are high. Here are the percentagesI’ll use to calculate your
nal grade:Class Discussion Participation:15%Bogging (reaction posts, gossary posts, comments on posts)25%Miterm exam an graing conerence wit me:20%In-class presentation:20%Final Exam (Wed., March 14, 11:45am-2pm):20%
Academic Integrity
Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.You won’t learn anything if you don’t do the work in thisclass yourself, and learning, as you already know, is awonderful thing.The minimum penalty for plagiarism will be an “F” on thatassignment; blatant plagiarism is grounds for failing thecourse.For a more in-depth discussion of plagiarism see the DepaulStudent Handbook.If you have questions or feel tempted to cheat or plagiarize, pleaseget in touch with me so we can talk in person.
The Writing Center
Located in 250 McGaw Hall in Lincoln Park and 1600 LewisCenter in the Loop, the Writing Center offers students one-on-onehelp with writing concerns. This is a fabulous resource for writersat any level.
Special Needs
Students with special needs should contact me immediately.

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